JOHOR, MALAYSIA— Johor Chief Minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi expressed his frustration over the closure of many immigration inspection counters at the Malaysian side of the Causeway after the Hari Raya celebration.
He reminded the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM) needs to be consistent in providing their best services at the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex, Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) in Johor Bahru.
On his official Facebook page, Onn Hafiz shared photos taken on Wednesday (26 Apr) morning, showing numerous counters at the checkpoint closed, despite many vehicles waiting to cross the border.
“Today, I received complaints that many counters were closed even though there were many vehicles, ” he wrote in the post.
“I request that the immigration department continues to provide the best service as last week,” Onn Hafiz wrote, added the the department need to continue to be consistent in providing the best services to the people.
Meanwhile, Baharuddin Tahir, Johor Immigration Department Director said several counters at CIQ BSI were unable to operate for various reasons, including technical and security issues.
“It’s not closed, the right term is unable to operate, ” he explained, “Indeed, a small portion is not operating for several reasons such as technical problems, maintenance work, security issues, and so on.”
“The explanation has been given to the Johor Chief Minister,” he told Malaysian media Berita Harian on Thursday (27 Apr).
Onn Hafiz: this problem has been going on too long
Before the Hari Raya, the Johor Chief minister had made a surprise visit to the CIQ BSI on 19 Apr and expressed his dissatisfaction with the queue there.
In a TikTok video capturing the scene, Onn Hafiz was seen speaking to an immigration official, complaining that the situation was unacceptable and demanding that the department resolve their human resource issue.
“Cannot, it has been going on for too long. Rotation, sembahyang (praying), I’m here and I’m going to wait until it’s settled.”
The official explained that more counters were closed due to staff being on “shift rotation,” rest breaks, or prayers, as well as “technical issues.”
70 million people travelled through the BSI CIQ and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex last year
Last year, over 70 million people travelled between Malaysia and Singapore through the BSI CIQ and the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) in Iskandar Puteri.
All 284 counters at CIQ BSI have processed the entry of 22,415,312 travellers and exits of 25,276,135 people in 2022, while 169 counters at CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Complex have processed the entry of 12,022,701 people and exits of 10,479,880 people during the same period, according to Onn Hafiz.